Explore oct weekend - view hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

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hiking
6 days ago

Really nice trail. Such a cute town of wonderful characters (mostly dogs). We had a trail guide named Penny who took us all the way down coming back often to make sure she had all of us, barking to let us know there was still more trail ahead. She was so very good at her self appointed job. This trail follows a very narrow trail down the side of the canyon. it is over 2 miles down which of course is two miles back up. beautiful views and lovely waterfalls. lots and lots of poison oak and we pick a couple of ticks off us. Nothing was so bad we didnt like it. Our dogs love being off leash and the seclusion is always nice. We all really enjoyed the hike but we were all very tired after the hike back up. the drive is steep and slow going out it in a low gear and stay off the brakes the hike is worth it.

Was out there this week pack the sun screen and water/mudboots totally manageable and enjoyable as long as your prepared! Great views of the surrounding mountains as our snowpack begins to melt:)

hiking
1 month ago

Mountain miles are not as a crow flies. 8 miles to Iowa hill is 20 minutes min. driving 25 mph and 10mph around the sharp switchbacks. The town is very intimate with its residence being more dogs than people you are greeted with tail wags not hand waves. (not joking) Also this towns mayor is infact a dog.

THE TRAIL HEAD: LOCATED behind the market and is clearly marked with a large sign. Most likely you will be greeted by dogs and they will guide you down the hill to the river. (Penny is the Australian Shepard, Moose is the sweet Lab)

DANGERS: poison oak everywhere (public land). SPRING do not pet the dogs they roll in poison oak.. This is common sense... part of the trail has collapsed but nothing you can't overcome. If you have a fear of heights the trail is basically a cliff edge.

I love this hike year around! We have gone in everything from stormy and white out to hot and sunny weather. Sitting where you can see Donner Lake and eat lunch is a treat. I have missed the turn to the lakes which is not marked and advise using GPS. It is my favorite place to take beginners and kids.

Didn't quite make it to he trail unfortunately, the road in is 8.5 miles, very windy, narrow and downhill. I drive a 2005 Honda Civic, after about 2.5 miles my brakes were cooked. Just had them done so that shouldn't have happened. I also had to pass a Jeep on a very narrow part with a shear cliff on the right on me (no guard rails). Didn't feel very comfortable after that. Ended up turning around and going to a different trail. I'd recommend having a vehicle with really good brakes. Not the best road for big vehicles. Be safe!

Beautiful trail, alpine meadow, wet marsh, wooded sections. Not technical. Today was quite icy in the woods & muddy elsewhere. Absolutely hikeable.

hiking
2 months ago

hiking
2 months ago

Wow! What an interesting trail!! We loved all of the amazing sights and that it was secluded! Our dog was able to be off leash, and we had a great time! To start, getting to this trail is what I felt to be treacherous. It took 30 minutes to go 8.5 miles uphill to reach the trail. The roads are extremely windy and it felt a little dangerous in some parts (I drive a large SUV). We knew we reached the area once we saw the little local store, Iowa Hill Store. We parked, and the trailhead was right behind the store. It's a downhill hike most of the way (and we didn't make it the entire way). There was SO MUCH to see! We walked through a beautiful waterfall area, saw the gorgeous clear blue river below, and it felt like we were in a fantasy land with all of the trees, moss, mushrooms, and narrow trails! Multiple scenary types throughout the hike, which is what made it so spectacular! Others mentioned poison oak in the beginning of the trail, which I did spot, so THANK YOU! The hike back was a great work-out on the legs. The only thing that we didn't like about the trail, is that it very shaded - so it was dark and wet through most of our hike. Not usually a big deal, but we went on a sunny day, hoping to catch plenty of sunrays, and that definitely did not happen. Overall though - REALLY fun trail! I'd go again when it's warmer out so I can make it to the bottom and swim with my pup!

hiking
3 months ago

Had a fun day hike here last weekend. Cool little 'market' at the trailhead (yes, the trail begins behind the market). Keep a heads up for poison oak at the beginning of the trail. We ALMOST finished it and made it to the water, but a part of the trail was washed out. Without dogs we could have just done some quick bouldering to get around it to the other side, but that was a no go with the hounds. Didn't bump into anybody on the path. Some great views and even a bench halfway (?) in that overlooks the river where we got to watch some kayakers head down. I mean... There was a bench... So we had to sit, right? :) mostly decline on the way out. Cross a few small creeks... Dogs loved it. If you go when it's skeeter season, definitely bring some spray or just long sleeve up.

More of a nature walk or easy trail run. Not much of a hike. Pretty views though. It was a bit muddy yesterday as well.

hiking
3 months ago

We were able to find the start of the trail fairly easily; however, we got lost trying to stay on the trail. About half a mile to a mile in we somehow ended up walking into someone’s backyard and ended up back at the Iowa road. We never finished the trail.

When we headed back down to I-80 fwy, the road closed. The fire rescue had to pull out two cars that drove off into the embankment. Just a warning to those that plan to hike this trail... to get to the trailhead after the Colfax exit, you’ll have to drive down a windy 8mile narrow road made up mainly one ways. You’ll only be able to drive less than 25mph on this road if you don’t want to end up like those two cars. Be safe and good luck on this trail.

hiking
3 months ago

There is some ice at first and deeper snow as you climb, but the views are great! If you stick the to gps you can stay on he trail up and back. The trail gets creative with the snow cover.

hiking
3 months ago

This trail was amazing! It was beautiful and full of beautiful sights. However, I would not call it moderate, more of a Hard level.

walking
3 months ago

Great flat, easy trail in and out of the trees. I recommend heading in early as there is not much parking.

Enjoyed Penny the local guide dog who lead the way and made sure we were okay on our hike. It was a beautiful hike. There was one spot that you had to climb over a rock because the trail collapsed. We went in December so we weren't able to get down to the river at the end of the trail because the rocks were slippery. The water was beautiful and clear. Coming back in the summer to swim

We were unable to cross the river over the rocks to get to the trail. We dis not want to risk it. Maybe wait until winter is over. I didn’t know we had to cross. I will try again in the summer. Beautiful drive!

hiking
4 months ago

It's a moderate trail with a lot of gorgeous views. It ends up near a quite good swimming spot, so you can enjoy swimming in the clear water if the weather allows to do this. We went in December, so, unfortunately, didn't swim. Even though the way back is almost constantly uphill, it's not steep. So, overall trail is not difficult. Two very friendly local dogs accompanied us during all our way and made our hike even more fun. Highly recommend this trai.

Love this hike..for me it’s a nice work out as far as the hikes I’ve done here in Tahoe this one is easy..

If you like taking photos of beautiful scenes with a reflection in water then this is your hike. However, go very early (730) before any breeze starts. Now the bad news. I couldn’t find nor stay on the trail unless I used the app. The problem was getting to places where amazing photos could be taken but the trails go every which way. I felt like I was looking for Pokémon only it was the trail. Also, boots are a must.

There are two ways to access this trail. The easiest is to start at Donner Ski Ranch and keep all their buildings to your Right. Hike up and past the concrete dam that is the south east end of Lake Angela. Keep Lake Angela on your left and follow the trail The more difficult access is from what used to be Sugar Bowl ACADEMY AND The PCT.
THE Pc

hiking
6 months ago

Includes about a mile of unshaded switchbacks and small rock climb at summit. Awesome views. Was somewhat crowded on an October weekday - this is a school trip for Donner Tahoe kids!

hiking
6 months ago

Wow, I had no idea there is an old mining town on the other end of the Stevens Trail! It is a bit of a long drive out to the trail head on a very windy one lane road. The trailhead itself feels like it is somewhat in someone's back yard--it felt a little awkward being a first timer and being new to the east side of the trail. Very good vigorous hike though with a beautiful spot on he river at the bottom the could provide good swimming. The trail itself has eroded in some places and requires some sure footing at points so be careful.

We started at Fuller Lake, which was very pretty. Trail was just OK, we were kind of disappointed. It was shady most of the way, which we liked. It just wasn't very scenic. We had to use the GPS quite a bit, esp near the end of the trail at Spaulding Lake. Even then we had a hard time finding an easy way down to the lake. Spaulding Lake was low, with only rock along the shoreline, rather desolate looking. No shade at all. It was a cool day or we would have gone swimming. We hung out there for a while and the dog had a lot of fun swimming. If you like solitude, this is the place - we didn't encounter anyone on the trail or at the lake. Good for off leash dog hiking. So the trail was a mixed bag for us. But it's not really worth doing again.

Nice easy loop. Good way to get acquainted with Martis Valley.

hiking
6 months ago

The river was beautiful aqua color with good access to swimming holes. Accompanied by local golden retriever. Hiked under canopy of trees.

hiking
6 months ago

Park at Donner Ski ranch and walk up the ski hill to meet the trail. Hard to find the path but once past the first lake it was a great hike. Everyone's advice below helped a lot! Pretty key to bring your phone to use the app to stay on the trail. Don't be afraid to wander a bit as there's some beautiful views of Donner lake as well.

hiking
7 months ago

Great hiking trail. It was beautiful the entire way, great swimming hole on the bottom... Penny the trail guide-dog kept us company most of the way. I would definitely recommend.

Beautiful hike! Shade for warm days and great access to lakes to swim. Easy access...hardly anyone out there today so we felt like we had the place all to ourselves.

Fun hike with several great lookout points to see donner lake and the sierras. Steep, rocky steps at start (a bit harder for our dogs), but then even elevation throughout the rest of the hike.

hiking
7 months ago

Nice hike! Do it in the morning. Gets crowded and more sunny later. First part is very rocky. Plenty of dogs on trail.

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